Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Walking in Geraldton and surrounds

A few years ago, my friends Sally and Sheridan and I were walking regularly twice a week. These walks were for 3-4 hours and were designed to not only get us fit, but to see a bit of the scenery in our own back yard.

I wrote a series of posts about these walks, and the purpose of this post is to bring them together in one place so that they can be found more easily amongst my now 5 years worth of ramblings.

Bushwalking in the Geraldton region is best limited to the months of May through to September, when the weather isn't too hot. Outside these months dehydration and heat stroke are a real possibility as the temperatures can climb to the mid 30s by 9am. At any time of year, lots of water, some snacks, a hat and good sun protection is mandatory.

Late winter and early spring brings all the flowers. Not just the everlastings, which are best appreciated along the Chapman River walk at this time, but also the flowering shrubs. There's also an opportunity for birdwatching, especially on the Greenough River walk and on Moresby Ranges.

Anyway, here's the links to the walks.

This walk is a 16km return trip along the sealed road from the Northwest Coastal Highway to Coronation Beach. Park in the carpark just off the turnoff, walk 8 km to the beach, have lunch and a swim, enjoy the view then walk back. Best done on a week day morning as less road traffic and July -August for flowering Wattles and Hakeas.

White Peak is an interesting, though short, walk with low ground covers and some pretty cool rock formations. I think it's actually private land but I had heard that there was a plan to acquire it by DEC. We haven't actually been back, despite saying we would.

I'd highly recommend this stroll along White Peak Road, with or without the detour up the side road. The old homestead has got a little character and there's some nice views to the ranges. Also good for flowering shrubs in season.

The Greenough Rivermouth walk is a local treasure. It's a good 3-4 hour circuit for the fit walker with great views over the water. You'll see pelicans and herons, and likely see some ospreys, either perched on the nest or hunting. We've seen various other raptors in the region as well. Be sure to check whether the river mouth is passable though, because it's a long way back if it isn't. One time we had to swim across! That was a cold wet drive back home...

The Chapman River trail is best appreciated when all the wildflowers are out. It tends to have alot of flies so a day with a bit of a breeze is better, or wear a flynet! Turns out I didn't write a trip report on this walk, so just photos of the flowers.

The final walk I've done a few times is up on the Moresby Ranges. This is private property, but the owner is attempting to get the government to purchase the land for recreational use. It certainly has good views. Access by permission only, but Forbes is pretty amenable to responsible users. Feel free to contact me if you'd like his details. Again, here's some pictures.

So that's it for my walks around Geraldton. Can you add any more?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Stuff that makes me smile

I love creating little spaces, either in the house or the garden, where I can stop and smile.

It might be a bit of garden sculpture/art, or a collection of objects, that fit a certain place to perfection.

My favourite is the spider web.

Not only because it was made for me by a dear friend's mother, and the spiders and flies became a school holiday project for the kids next door, but when I did the renovation downstairs to separate the laundry from the bathroom, I ended up with the perfect view of the web straight through the window.

it would help if I cleaned the window!

Then there's my silly dressed up wooden mask. You buy trinkets and then wonder what to do with them when you get home. The mask is from Vanuatu, the cap is Hmong from North East Vietnam, the nosering a Dzao necklace from North West Vietnam, the pipe from the Wa of south west China. This little installation guards my staircase and reminds me of the wonderful markets I visited in which all the objects were bought.

My "memory shelf" sits just above my computer desk. Every little object has a connection to a person, time or place of significance in my life. Looking at these creates a moment of peace and reflection, and of course warm memories...

Old copper plumbing make up the structure of this little piece of garden sculpture. It's just a bunch of junk put together to make some "flowers" but I love it framed against the beautiful stone wall in the ornamental north side garden.

The sailboard fence is my latest addition. Each board represents a period in my windsurfing progression, from flatwater sailer to wave junky, complete with obligatory crease through the middle of the red one from one too many flat landings. Ouch!! It's now a lovely functional part of my garden, with a seat and hooks for tools and towels and dog leads.

What stuff makes you smile?